The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has been criticized for being unreliable and not accepted by modern science and psychology.
As a huge MBTI fan, the typology has benefitted me a lot. So whenever I read an article that’s ranting about ‘how incorrect the MBTI test is,’ I naturally disagree with it.
The MBTI type descriptions are often very accurate (provided that you’ve typed yourself correctly) and a lot of the included career suggestions, relationship advice, personal growth info, or even success stories from famous people turn out to be quite helpful and inspiring.
Many big companies in the US are using the MBTI instrument to aid their team-building and recruitment. There certainly is at least something correct about MBTI.
However, the MBTI was originally created with the goal in mind of making it practical, duplicatable, and most importantly: profitable. An official MBTI test can be as expensive as $200, and to become a certified practitioner the prices shoot up above thousands of dollars.
This means anyone can profit from this ‘franchise’ by just spending a few thousand bucks to attend a quick training to become an official MBTI practitioner and start charging people to purchase an ‘official MBTI test.’ Even though the test is flawed and makes you get different test results every time you retake it.
I have experienced that many people stick with their MBTI test result (because they paid for it so it must be correct), then go on online communities with zero knowledge about MBTI or cognitive functions.
The number of mistyped people from places like Facebook groups is surprisingly high. Especially types such as INFP and INFJ, or INTP and INTJ – where the definition of J and P is being misunderstood.
The common misconception of J and P:
J does not mean you’re a Judger (or Judging-dominant). Instead, it means that you’re a Judger from the surface. Your most dominant Judging function is Extraverted.
P does not mean you’re a Perceiver (or Perceiving-dominant). Instead, it means that you’re a Perceiver from the surface. Your most dominant Perceiving function is Extraverted.
Even though an INFJ is more organized on the surface, they are more busy with Perceiving their internal world using Introverted Intuition. So in reality, they aren’t as organized as you would think.
Even though an INFP is more laid-back on the surface, they are more busy with Judging their internal world using Introverted Feeling. So in reality, they aren’t as laid-back as you would think.
INFJ is a Perceiver, INFP is a Judger.
Another example is when you’re struggling between for example INFJ and INTJ, whereas Jung’s theory about cognitive function states, that function-pairs always have to be polar opposites from each other – meaning you are both a Feeler and a Thinker at the same time since you always have a Feeling function and always have a Thinking function. Even though one is less consciously accessible than the other.
The common misconception of F and T:
F does not mean you’re not a Thinker. Instead, it means that your Feeling function is more conscious than your Thinking function.
T does not mean you’re not a Feeler. Instead, it means that your Thinking function is more conscious than your Feeling function.
An ENFP would excel better as a leader than an ENTP, because they use Extraverted Thinking; which is the ability to solve logical problems objectively to achieve mutual goals.
An ENTP would excel better in getting along with others than an ENFP, because they use Extraverted Feeling; which is the ability to cooperate and blend into the values and traditions from other people to get along with them.
There is no such thing as Feeler or Thinker.
It’s all about the cognitive functions.
Cognitive functions are the fundamentals of how our brain works every day. When you perceive and judge you are using your cognitive functions.
To get your four cognitive functions (Feeling, Thinking, Sensing, and Intuition), pick either the Extraverted (Objective) or the Introverted (Subjective) variant of that function.
If you can’t decide immediately and are in doubt; take your time to reflect. Because you can only have one of the two variants.
1. The emotional judging-functions
Pick one: Extraverted Feeling (Fe) or Introverted Feeling (Fi)
(Objective) Seeks outer-harmony.
Supportive, cooperative, emphatic. Aware of emotions and values of others. Great at getting along with others.
Affected by those around them, often sacrifice own needs for others, expects reciprocation.
(Subjective) Seeks inner-harmony.
Deeply connected with others, self-expressive, original. Aware of emotions and values of their own. Great artists.
Very sensitive, undervalue logical data, can be very impulsive.
2. The rational judging-functions
Pick one: Extraverted Thinking (Te) or Introverted Thinking (Ti)
(Objective) Seeks effectiveness.
Gets things done, planners, organizers. Able to understand other’s logic easily. Great leaders.
Insensitive, tendency to think they are always right, arrogant.
(Subjective) Seeks efficiency.
Analytical, inventive, logical. Uses exact words to express ideas. Great problem-solvers.
Only want to know why things work the way they do instead of getting it done. Expects cooperation.
3. The physical perceiving-functions
Pick one: Extraverted Sensing (Se) or Introverted Sensing (Si)
(Objective) Seeks new physical experience.
Improvisers, spontaneous, confident. Likes to test their limits. Great performers.
May act recklessly, undervalue theory, don’t think about consequences.
(Subjective) Seeks certainty and consistency.
Responsible, focused, traditional. Sees similarities in past experience. Great eye for detail.
Does not like change, attached to social status, materialistic.
4. The abstract perceiving-functions
Pick one: Extraverted Intuition (Ne) or Introverted Intuition (Ni)
(Objective) Seeks new ideas and concepts.
Creative, curious, sees the big picture. Able to perceive things from different perspectives. Great brainstormers.
Lack of consistency, get distracted easily, impractical.
(Subjective) Seeks to understand connections and patterns.
Insightful, intuitive, strategic. Gets a ‘feel’ for certain situations. Great planners.
Too high standards, slow in making decisions, perfectionistic.
Last but not least: you will have to figure out whether you are a judging-dominant or a perceiving-dominant to know your dominant and auxiliary cognitive function.
Fe, Fi, Te, Ti
Process, then observe. Creates a judgment then perceives whether they are right or not. Serious most of the time. Strong opinions about right and wrong. Prefers structure over comfort.
Huge preference for either Feeling or Thinking, moderate preference for Sensing or Intuition.
Objective ‘Feelers’ – “The Peacemakers”
[Fe-Si-Ne-Ti] ESFJ Personality – “The Ambassador”
[Fe-Ni-Se-Ti] ENFJ Personality – “The Spokesperson”
Subjective ‘Feelers’ – “The Idealists”
[Fi-Se-Ni-Te] ISFP Personality – “The Artist”
[Fi-Ne-Si-Te] INFP Personality – “The Individual”
Objective ‘Thinkers’ – “The Leaders”
[Te-Ni-Se-Fi] ESTJ Personality – “The Boss”
[Te-Ni-Se-Fi] ENTJ Personality – “The Commander”
Subjective ‘Thinkers’ – “The Analysts”
[Ti-Se-Ni-Fe] ISTP Personality – “The Technician”
[Ti-Ne-Si-Fe] INTP Personality – “The Theoretician”
Se, Si, Ne, Ni
Observe, then process. Creates a perception then judges whether they are right or not. Laid-back most of the time. Open opinions about right and wrong. Prefers comfort over structure.
Huge preference for either Sensing or Intuition, moderate preference for Feeling or Thinking.
Objective ‘Sensors’ – “The Adventurers”
[Se-Fi-Te-Ni] ESFP Personality – “The Showman”
[Se-Ti-Fe-Ni] ESTP Personality – “The Hustler”
Subjective ‘Sensors’ – “The Guardians”
[Si-Fe-Ti-Ne] ISFJ Personality – “The Provider”
[Si-Te-Fi-Ne] ISTJ Personality – “The Tactician”
Objective ‘Intuitives’ – “The Advocates”
[Ne-Fi-Te-Si] ENFP Personality – “The Protagonist”
[Ne-Ti-Fe-Si] ENTP Personality – “The Devil’s Advocate”
Subjective ‘Intuitives’ – “The Mystics”
[Ni-Fe-Ti-Se] INFJ Personality – “The Guru”
[Ni-Te-Fi-Se] INTJ Personality – “The Strategist”